September 17 – September 23



RANDOM PIC OF THE WEEK

I put a plastic William Shatner/Michael Myers mask on my Shakespeare bust, and got this. My pal Mark the Cop calls him…William Shatspeare!

 

Palm Springs has some great radio stations; particularly on the AM band. I’m a big AM fan, and when I hear some of the old great songs on the crackling AM frequency I go crazy. There’s a certain magic to hearing the old songs on AM. I thought I was making it up, until my pal Elliot Lurie from the 70’s band Looking Glass told me that the majority of the songs from those decades were mastered specifically to sound good on AM radio, as that’s where they would most likely get their first exposure. So I’m NOT making it up! When I heard the “Mission Impossible” theme on 1340AM KWXY as I was heading out of town last Sunday night I almost spit up my Dr. Pepper! I hadn’t heard that on the radio in decades! Boy it sure sounded good! Lalo Schifrin has created some of my favorite TV themes including this one, Mannix and the original Starsky & Hutch theme! Genius!

Monday the 17th – AUTOGRAPH DAY! – My folks and I drove to Paty’s to meet up with my pal Michael Reagan, so he could sign my mom’s book. My folks have known him for quite a while and we always like to meet up with him and chat when they’re in town. I hit my mailbox to get my mail, and then we went over to Anawalt lumber to get a piece of board cut for my patio door slide track. Since the patio door would need to be cracked a few inches for the portable A/C unit to be able to blow out its exhaust, I needed to make sure the door couldn’t be opened from the outside any wider than what would accommodate the A/C exhaust portal. Putting a long piece of wood in the track of your sliding door or window is the world’s oldest security measure, apparently. We drove back home and the folks started packing up their things to head back to South Dakota on Tuesday. Their final day would be complicated by the roofers, who were scheduled to start work on our building’s roofs this week. It would mean noise, dust, more noise, and worst of all…NO A/C FOR THREE DAYS! Lucky for them, my folks would be leaving just as the “fun” began. I checked e-mails, did my auditions, and then we drove to my friend Carmen Grillo’s house to pick up my vintage Halloween 1 and Halloween 2 movie posters. They had been signed by just about everyone in the cast, except Jamie Lee Curtis. When she was on “The Tonight Show” I walked by her, but didn’t want to bug her to sign my posters then. Luckily, Carmen’s wife knows Jamie’s publicist, and got them both signed for me. COOL! I picked up the posters and then the folks and I headed to Panera for a light dinner. We got home and I showed my folks the remaining photo albums I had been working on so hard for the past 9 months. They really enjoyed the memories. I typed out Wally’s Week and then hit the hay. The noise would start VERY early in the morning!

Tuesday the 18th – TEAR THE ROOF OFF THE SUCKER! – Promptly at 7:45 I heard the sound of feet walking above my head. As planned, I sprung from bed and went downstairs. The complex’s management and head of the roofing project were there to meet me and turn off the breaker to the A/C as well as the gas. As they were disassembling everything on the roof they didn’t want any shocks or explosions. I would be OK without A/C until later that day, because the weather had been cool, but no gas meant no showers for 3 hours. And my folks had a plane to catch later. But the management promised the gas would be back on by 11. The process sounded just like you’d expect it to sound, when a crew is literally tearing the roof off from over your head. I went downstairs to try and nap on the couch, and I’m not sure what my folks did. But by 11 they returned, put the gas back on, and took off. I waited until 11:30 to shower and the water was nice and hot. By noon we hit the road and got to Denny’s by the airport for lunch. Then I dropped them at the airport and they were on their way back home. I got home and hooked up the portable A/C unit I keep downstairs in dry dock in case of emergencies. Everything assembled fairly well and I had cool air blowing into the living room for the pets. I met up with my stylist Andie for a cut and color, and then came home to relax, now that the roofers had left for the day. I did my nightly auditions, grabbed a short nap, and did some more work around the house. I went to get food at Jack in the Box later, came home and finished everything for the day and hit the hay. Hard to believe this roofing project is going to take 5-6 weeks! It’s going to be a VERY loooong 5-6 weeks.

Wednesday the 19th – GET ME OUTTA HERE! – Like clockwork the pounding started at 8am. It sounded like an earthquake as the house was vibrating and shaking. Small punctures had popped up on my Puppet Room ceiling, and the management assures me that it will all be patched, repaired and repainted when the project is over. But the Puppet Room is full of puppets on display that would take forever to move! I hope their painters are very talented at covering everything with plastic! I moved to the couch to nap until noon. Then I hopped on my beloved bike (which I found again, once I had cleaned all the crap out of my garage!) and biked over to Voice Trax West for a quick American Airlines session. Then I went to the grocery store to pick up a few items for my Palm Springs trip later that night. I locked my bike to the gate at Panera and went inside to CVS to see if they had the iced tea I like. When I came out I was talking to a nice lady about cell phones. I walked over to my bike, grabbed the bottle of water out of the holder on my bike and took a sip and walked to the grocery store. She said, “Is that your bike?” I said (with a totally straight face), “No, I just took that guy’s water because I’m thirsty. If he’s going to leave it out there, I’m gonna take it.” She didn’t know what to say. But then I told her it was indeed my bike and I was just going to go to the grocery store to get a few items and didn’t want my water bottle sitting out on my bike. She had a good laugh about it. I got my tea at the grocery store and then biked over to Subway to get a sandwich. I headed home and ate lunch. Then I drove Roxy over to Rusty’s to get a hair knot untangled. It was a big knot right at her collar line. While she was getting “untangled” I picked out a nice harness for her. I figured I’d stop using the collar and try a harness, in hopes it wouldn’t tangle her hair like the collar was doing. I went home and did some work. Then at 5 I walked over to Enterprise and picked up my rental SUV for my Palm Springs trip. It was a big, black Dodge Durango. Nice! I went home to finish packing a few things and my housesitter Brittney Powell came over at 8 to start housesitting for the weekend. By the time I got packed up and ready to roll, it was 9:30 before I hit the road. I got to the Denny’s in Palm Springs in just under 2 hours and got my food to go. I got to the Hyatt and checked in, ate my dinner, unpacked and fed Roxy. I cleaned up and started my nightly star watching. But it was tough to stay awake because of my “spotty” sleep schedule of late, thanks to the noisy roofing work. But it was still a beautiful night. Until around 4am when the clouds started rolling in. Uh oh. I hit the sack around 5am.

Thursday the 20th – TOO HOT TO TROT! – At 11 I woke up to take Roxy out for a potty break, and then came back inside to nap some more. I got up at 4 and had to engage in a lot of phone calls with DirecTV and my roofers. While the roofers were working they bumped my dish on the wall mount and put it out of line with the satellite. And Brittney was at my house with nothing to watch on TV! Luckily I have a ROKU in the Puppet Room that she could watch! It was all settled that the DirecTV tech would come on Monday morning at 8, talk to the roofers, and set up the dish accordingly. I took Roxy out to potty and came across a couple who absolutely adored her. They took some pictures sitting with her and I had her do a few tricks for them. The lady then told her husband to tip me. He looked at me puzzled. I was puzzled too. She said, “Isn’t that what you do? Work for tips?” I laughed and explained that I was on vacation from L.A. and was staying at the Hyatt. She thought that since the street fair was starting soon and Roxy and I were out near the street, we must be part of it. I thanked her for her consideration, but I said I don’t take tips. I went inside and checked my e-mails and then Roxy and I hit the street fair about 7pm. I wanted it to cool down enough that Roxy could have a good time. But when we got outside, it only took a few blocks to realize that Roxy was NOT digging it! It was REALLY humid; which I had feared when I saw those clouds roll in last night! Plus, Roxy was walking uncharacteristically slow because she really wasn’t digging the harness. I think it felt weird on her body as she walked. So we went back inside, I put her in the room, and then I went out to check out the street fair. In addition to being uncomfortably humid (odd for the desert) there were hardly any vendors there; it was quite scaled down from the usual number. I guess the locals know that it’s still “summer” out, but by the time October rolls around “The Season” will be in full swing and everyone will be back. I did get a chance to talk to the Palm Springs Pillow Lady, and oddly enough she wasn’t busy at all. Normally when I see her she has about 10 things going on. But not only were the vendors sparse, but the crowd seemed a little less plentiful too. I bought the new CD from my favorite Native American wind instrument artist Waykey, and I went to NYPD to get a pizza to go. I took it to my room and ate it, then napped until midnight. I got ready for star watching, and despite being a warm night, it was gorgeous and quiet out. (Emphasis on QUIET!) It was nice to hear nothing but silence, after hearing the roofers for the past few days. I watched an almost-full moon go behind the mountain; always a stunning sight! I don’t know if it’s because of the full moon, or if it’s because Palm Springs is becoming too light polluted, but I don’t really see that many more stars any more than I do in L.A. Back when I started coming to P.S. eight years ago the sky was alive with tons of stars! But I honestly think Palm Springs is getting too overdeveloped.

Friday the 21st – FAN-ATIC! – Shortly after noon I woke up and took Roxy out for a potty break. We met a couple at the bar from New Jersey. He was a retired architect and contractor, and she was a retired hand surgeon. They absolutely loved Roxy. We chatted for quite a bit and I gave them a few suggestions of what to do in Palm Springs. I went back inside and napped until 4. I got up and got lunch at KFC, and then drove to Walmart. I wanted to get a small fan to keep in the front room of my suite. That way when I turned the A/C off to watch stars, Roxy could still have some cool air to enjoy. Even at 2 in the morning it was still 88 degrees out! But being a “seasonal” item, Walmart didn’t have any. However I DID find some banana Twinkies, so I bought about 6 boxes! At 7pm, the sun was down but it was still 98 degrees and humid out. Had I come to Palm Springs too early? I think so. I should have waited a few weeks maybe. Oh well, I’ll go back in October and Roxy and I will have a cooler time. I got back to the hotel and worked out in the gym for a bit. I went to my room and sat down on the balcony. I saw a shooting star! I napped for a bit and then got up later to watch stars. I got to bed around 6.

Saturday the 22nd – COINCIDENCES? DON’T BELIEVE IN THEM! – Just after 1 I took Roxy out to the hotel’s dog walk area so she could have a potty break. But when I got back to my room my cell phone was ringing. I just missed it! But it was my pal Ruben Procopio calling. I called him back and he said he just drove by the hotel and saw me walking Roxy. He was in town?! I told him I was just going to lunch and he and his wife Jean should meet me! But they just were driving through on their way back to L.A. so they had to get going. But they met me out in front of the hotel so Roxy could meet their new puppy Ben! Roxy took to him right away and they started playing in the dog walk area. Hilarious! What were the chances that they would be passing by JUST as I was outside walking Roxy?! Wild! They took off for home and I walked down to Ruby’s to get some lunch. Then I had a Dole Whip on the way back to my room. As it got dark out, I went to the pool area to watch stars from the circular tanning beds. It’s great to lie back and watch the sky at night, especially in the desert. I went across the street to order an NYPD pizza, and while I waited for it I enjoyed a cigar. But I heard some very disturbing news from one of the locals who seemed to be “in the know.” He said within five years it was the plan of one of the city’s major developers to make Palm Springs a “mini L.A.” This broke my heart, because I don’t want it to be L.A.! I leave L.A. to come to Palm Springs because I like Palm Springs. I don’t NEED a mini L.A.! He said their plans even involved building apartment buildings where NYPD presently stands, and getting rid of the Hyatt so the apartment dwellers can have an unobstructed view of the mountain. GET RID OF THE HYATT??!!! Then it hit me…my old saying, “If Wally likes it, it’s bound to go away.” That’s been the sad rule of my life. It seems that everything I like goes away eventually. Marathon candy bars, Diet Pepsi with Splenda, the Taco Bell Bellbeefer, everything! And now the Hyatt?! Hopefully this isn’t going to come to pass. I had seen my beloved Palm Springs get more developed of late with the inclusion of more swanky chain stores, and a minimization of the mom and pop places I love so much. Plus they just built a hoity toity hotel down the block from the Hyatt within the past few years which makes me think they really want Palm Springs to be more metropolitan. Oh well, I’ll find somewhere else to spend my money on vacation I guess. By the time I got cleaned up and settled on the balcony to watch stars, it was almost completely clouded over. But the clouds were spotty enough that I could catch glimpse of the almost-full moon occasionally. It actually painted quite a pretty picture!

Sunday the 23rd – RESTLESS! – By the time I got up on Sunday I had become quite restless. The weather this past week was far too hot and humid to have any fun with Roxy; not ONE trip to the dog park! All of the DirecTV and roofing stuff was weighing on my mind, so I figured I’d better get back to handle it myself. It’s nothing I’d want to put off on a housesitter. Since Roxy wasn’t having much fun, I had decided to leave on Sunday night instead of Monday afternoon. I napped all day, packed up and then took off around 11. I got some Wendy’s on the way home, and heard some incredible music on the local radio stations! The theme from “Mission Impossible” played on one of the local stations! I hadn’t heard that on the radio in decades! Palm Springs really DOES have some good radio! We drove through the night at top speeds and got back to L.A. around 12:30am. I got inside, worked around the house, and got Roxy fed and settled. Spook was glad to see us. All of the Batman items I loaned the Hollywood Museum for the ’66 Batman exhibit from January to September had come back, so I sorted through a few of those things. I have to catalog all of them to make sure I got everything back, and replace them in my showcases. Knowing that the roofers would return early in the morning, I hit the hay. But not without promising myself that I would return to Palm Springs in about a month when it was a bit cooler, so Roxy could have fun too!

And how was YOUR week??!!

PIX FROM THE WEEK

Here are the two Jamie Lee Curtis signatures on my original “Halloween” and “Halloween 2” one-sheet movie posters.

Some great moon-on-a-cloudy night shots taken from my hotel room balcony in Palm Springs. What a gorgeous night!

And of course I never get sick of taking pictures of the moon, especially with these ominous clouds covering it!





And I REALLY never get sick of taking pictures of cute puppies!

I stopped by his star on the Walk of Stars to wish my old friend a happy birthday.

Roxy is on her bed on the balcony ready for treats and star watching!

Roxy and I grab a quick nap before watching stars all night

Here is my nightly Palm Springs routine…music, meditation, munchies and more!